Effect of Particle Size on Mechanical Properties of Sawdust-High Density Polyethylene Composites under Various Strain Rates

Haliza Jaya, Mohd Firdaus Omar, Hazizan Md Akil, Zainal Arifin Ahmad, Nik Noriman Zulkepli


There is a need to understand the effect of wood particle size, as it affects the characteristics of wood-based composites. This study considers the effect of wood particle size relative to the dynamic behavior of wood composites. The compression Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) was introduced to execute dynamic compression testing at the strain rate of 650 s-1, 900 s-1, and 1100 s-1, whereas a conventional universal testing machine (UTM) was used to perform static compression testing at the strain rate of 0.1 s-1, 0.01 s-1, and 0.001 s-1 for four different particle sizes (63 µm, 125 µm, 250 µm, and 500 µm). The results showed that mechanical properties of composites were positively affected by the particle sizes, where the smallest particle size gave the highest values compared to the others. Moreover, the particle size also affected the rate sensitivity and the thermal activation volume of sawdust/HDPE, where smaller particles resulted in lower rate sensitivity. For the post-damage analysis, the applied strain rates influenced deformation behavior differently for all particle sizes of the specimens. In a fractographic analysis under dynamic loading, the composites with large particles experienced severe catastrophic deformation and damages compared to the smaller particles.


Wood composite; Particle sizes effect; Dynamic loading; Split Hopkinson pressure bar

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